Before anticipating reading some fateful story of an international student, let me clear it, it’s not a painful story of any one particular international students, but of all international students.
Don’t be disappointed, because I promise it will be a sad story. You will feel sympathy for international students.
Before we begin, I want you to pause for a second and imagine uprooting yourselves from your home, your own country and moving to a completely new environment, house and new world. It’s not that easy right? I agree.
Although, you may ask, “If it’s so hard then why come?”
Not all come for the enjoyment of a scintillating world or being abroad, instead some come for the fact that there is “The Department” in other countries that their own country does not offer.
There is “the education” that international students want to be part of in the United States; there is “the opportunity” to learn and optimize the education they receive and possibly reproduce it in their own place.
Now let’s jump right into the actual topic: “the adversities.” When international students land in the country of their dreams, they come very oblivious to the challenges they may face.
Having said that, it is not easy to cope with the emotional disconnection many face because of having no family nearby. However, there are many more situations that international students are subjected to which many of the citizens might be unaware of.
For example, applying for driver’s license is a huge hassle. Especially in Terre Haute, it is not easy to commute with buses, because the frequency of bus services is frankly, horrible.
You get a bus for every one hour, so if you miss your bus by a minute, then well too bad. Wait for an hour to get to your destination, which is outrageous. I am currently writing this article waiting for my bus because I missed it by a minute.
Then comes the lack of knowledge about how credit card and credit scores works. By the time you gain knowledge, you have made many mistakes and faced many issues.
I know life is all about learning, but for the people who are already here, they have their parents to learn from while international students have friends who also might not know either.
The students who travel so many miles to study have to go through some long orientations at the beginning of the semester and hear too many scary stories about immigrations, they have to follow numerous rules to avoid a violation, but none of us are guided on how to live in the U.S. or any other country.
None of these orientations cover the basic needs of students. For example, how to travel, how to get a license, where to go for help if you need to practice driving, how to learn about credit cards, how to protect yourselves from fraud, etc.
We don’t want to hear from officials on how to get your license, we want a student’s perspective and cautions that they can give, because they have already been through that.
I totally agree all these things come with experience and learning, but I guess a heads up wouldn’t harm.
The story goes like this: Once upon a time, there once lived a girl happy in her home. Her mom took care of her needs at home, her father protected her from the evil world, and everything was beautiful.
One dreadful night, she dreamt of achieving more and working hard to achieve her dreams; however, one obstacle stood in her way because she had to travel abroad and leave behind the place of safety and explore the world to learn more and excel in her life.
She stepped on the plane. The plane had no turbulence, but her heart was going through a tornado invisible to other passengers. She landed in the place of her dreams.
She was required to live a completely new stranger, talk in a completely new language, and cope with the pressure of classes.
She woke up early to cook for herself, but wait there are no ingredients with which her mom used to cook. So, she had to settle for a burger. She hates it, pukes everywhere and stays hungry.
To top it all, she is feeling home sick. She has no choice but to live with it. She cannot rent a car and drive to Illinois or anywhere close to visit her family, because guess what? They are thousands of miles away.
I can write a long story, but my agenda here was to draw a small picture for you to understand the kind of situation international students go experience.
Many of the international students are unaware of the norms or the life style of the place they immigrate to. Be patient, help them, and be generous to them.
If possible, teach them some norms so they can survive here until they are here.
Let them in to your groups; make them feel welcomed. Make their visit worth sharing.